Ruling

Resolution Statement – 11905-21 Lal v derbytelegraph.co.uk

    • Date complaint received

      17th February 2022

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement – 11905-21 Lal v derbytelegraph.co.uk

Summary of Complaint

1. Nadeem Lal complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that derbytelegraph.co.uk breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Life in the once-wealthy Derby suburb now city's infamous red light district”, published on 14th November 2021.

2. The article reported on “Derby’s Normanton Road area” and that it “has long been considered one of those red-light districts”. It stated that “Prostitution, drug taking and street drinking – especially around Rose Hill Street – have created what one local woman recently described as ‘an absolute nightmare’”. The article said that this had not always been the case as “[t]here had been a time when the residents of Rose Hill Street were townsfolk to be envied” as “only professional people… could afford to live there”. The article reported that this had changed after World War Two when the richest in society moved out from “the inner suburbs to the outer ones” and this left behind “big empty houses… ideal for converting into flats with multi-occupancy”. After this point, Rose Hill “changed… drastically” and there were concerns that “prostitutes and pimps were being imported from larger cities”. The article said there were many social concerns within the area and that the “root cause of the problems was deemed to be financial”. The article continued by stating that “[i]t has long been understood that street prostitution is intrinsically linked to poverty, and in 1975, the Derby Telegraph described Rose Hill as ‘socially deprived’”. The article concluded by reporting that today “those problems are much worse”. The article included images showing a sign that said “Rose Hill St” and a picture of Rose Hill Street.

3. The complainant said that the article was inaccurate in breach of Clause 1 because there was no prostitution problem in Rose Hill Street. He stated the street did have a problem in the 1980s but through police and community work, this was overcome.  He said there was still an issue with prostitution on Normanton Road, but not Rose Hill Street specifically, as claimed in the article.

4. The publication did not accept a breach of the Code. It said that the publication had looked into this issue over the past few years and had interviewed police and residents as part of its investigations. The publication provided examples of its coverage such as one reporting on Derbyshire Police and Normanton and Rose Hill Police SNT who had commented on the prostitution in Normanton and Rose Hill.

5. The complainant said that there was a difference between Rose Hill Street and the area of Rose Hill more generally.

Relevant Code Provisions

Clause 1 (Accuracy)

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator.

 

iii) A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.

iv) The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

Mediated Outcome

6. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.

7. During IPSO’s investigation the publication offered to remove all reference to Rose Hill Street and the images showing Rose Hill Street and to print the following footnote correction:

A previous version of this article referred specifically to Rose Hill Street as a 'red light district'. This article has been amended to make clear that the red light district refers to Normanton and Rose Hill as an area more generically.

8. The complainant said that this would resolve the matter to his satisfaction.

9. As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.


Date complaint received: 21/11/2021

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 25/01/2022